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Fire at a glance (numbers)

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Donnell, Stanislaus NF. Five miles west of Dardanelle, CA. Timber and brush. Minimal fire behavior. Energy infrastructure threatened. Road, area and trail closures in effect.

September 8, 2018 at 9:21 AM

Effective Immediately – The Pacific Crest Trail is open to public use. Fire activity has been minimal during the past week, with an overall fire growth of only 150 acres since Sunday September 2. The Stanislaus National Forest Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) Team is currently working on their soil assessment regarding the burn severity for the Donnell Fire.
Weather conditions are expected to become warmer and drier during the next couple of days. The conditions to produce afternoon thunderstorms still exist; however, it will be less than previous days. We will continue to update you with any threats over the fire area.
The Stanislaus National Forest will be reducing the closure area starting Monday September 10, 2018. An update and new map will be disseminated at that time with specifics to the remaining closure area.
A Revised Forest Closure Order (STF-16-2018-12) was issued on August 30, 2018 to open up areas of the Stanislaus National Forest not directly affected by the Donnell Fire. This revised order supersedes the previous forest closure order (STF-16-2018-11). The revised order opens up Bull Run Lake on the Calaveras Ranger District. On the Summit Ranger District, it opens up the south side of Hwy 108 between Kennedy Meadow and Sonora Pass, the Sonora Pass Trailhead, and the trail from Kennedy Meadow to Relief Reservoir (Trail 20E11). Active fire, fire suppression actions, hazardous standing trees, and risk from rock fall provide clear indicators that the fire area is still dangerous and the public is restricted from entering the current closure area.

 September 3, 2018 at 9:40 AM

The Stanislaus National Forest Type 3 IMT will continue to have local initial attack of new fire starts as a part of their daily strategic plan. Fire suppression repair on the southern portion of the fire area, including mitigation of all remaining hazards in the area, will continue to be a priority for the forest Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) Team. Weather conditions will continue with a warming and drying trend over the fire area through the next several days. Conditions will be slightly above normal, with the potential for afternoon heating to produce some cumulus buildups near the crest of the sierra during the afternoon.

The Donnell Fire remains 85% contained and the remaining structure threat has currently been mitigated. Permits are being issued to homeowners for property assessment. A significant demobilization of resources occurred yesterday. The rough terrain and limited accessibility have made this incident particularly challenging. Several strategies have been utilized throughout suppression efforts. Fire resources will continue to confine and contain fire spread, with the priority remaining in the northern most portion of the fire.

A Revised Forest Closure Order (STF-16-2018-12) was issued on August 30, 2018 to open up areas of the Stanislaus National Forest not directly affected by the Donnell Fire. This revised order supersedes the previous forest closure order (STF-16-2018-11). The revised order opens up Bull Run Lake on the Calaveras Ranger District. On the Summit Ranger District, it opens up the south side of Hwy 108 between Kennedy Meadow and Sonora Pass, the Sonora Pass Trailhead, and the trail from Kennedy Meadow to Relief Reservoir (Trail 20E11). Active fire, fire suppression actions, hazardous standing trees, and risk from rock fall provide clear indicators that the fire area is still dangerous and the public is restricted from entering the current closure area.

Forest Closure Area: The forest area impacted by the fire remains closed. This includes all residences and campgrounds along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01), the Highway 108 corridor, and the Clark Fork Road area. Property owners may obtain permits for access through the Summit Ranger District. Spicer Reservoir is closed but the campgrounds remain open. Highland Lakes Road (8N01) is open to Tryon Meadow only – Highland Lakes Campground and Trailhead are closed. Please check Fire Closure Order STF-16-2018-12 on the Stanislaus National Forest Webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alert/stanislaus/alerts-notices.

Trail Closures: The Pacific Crest Trail is closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4. Pacific Valley Campground is open but the trails at the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness boundary are closed.

OPEN: Highway 108 for through traffic only – please do not stop while we continue to work between Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and Sonora Pass. Kennedy Meadows Resort, Relief Reservoir, Baker Campground, and Deadman Campground are open. Bull Run Lake and the trails leading to it are open.

September 1, 2018 at 9:26 AM

A Stanislaus National Forest Type 3 Team (Incident Commander Shaun Craig) will be taking command of the Donnell Fire from Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 (SoCalTeam1) today at 7:00 pm. They will spend much of today shadowing their SoCalTeam1 counterparts prior to the transfer of command.

The Donnell Fire, currently at 36,349 acres, is now 84% contained. As the fire threat has substantially decreased with holding, line improvement, confine and contain tactics, and indirect and direct actions, crew and gear extraction and back haul efforts have accelerated. All Divisions of the fire will be performing extraction of crews, gear and backhaul. Demobilization of resources will increase as the overall fire threat continues to diminish. Fire suppression repair, patrol and monitoring of the fire perimeter, and confine and contain efforts will continue beyond the transfer of command to the Stanislaus Type 3 Team.

A Revised Forest Closure Order (STF-16-2018-12) was issued on August 30, 2018 to open up areas of the Stanislaus National Forest not directly affected by the Donnell Fire. This revised order supersedes the previous forest closure order (STF-16-2018-11). The revised order opens up Bull Run Lake on the Calaveras Ranger District. On the Summit Ranger District, it opens up the south side of Hwy 108 between Kennedy Meadow and Sonora Pass, the Sonora Pass Trailhead, and the trail from Kennedy Meadow to Relief Reservoir (Trail 20E11). Active fire, fire suppression actions, hazardous standing trees, and risk from rock fall provide clear indicators that the fire area is still dangerous and the public is restricted from entering the current closure area.

Forest Closure Area: The forest area impacted by the fire remains closed. This includes all residences and campgrounds along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01), the Highway 108 corridor, and the Clark Fork Road area. Property owners may obtain permits for access through the Summit Ranger District. Spicer Reservoir is closed but the campgrounds remain open. Highland Lakes Road (8N01) is open to Tryon Meadow only – Highland Lakes Campground and Trailhead are closed. Please check Fire Closure Order STF-16-2018-12 on the Stanislaus National Forest Webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alert/stanislaus/alerts-notices.

Trail Closures: The Pacific Crest Trail is closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4. Pacific Valley Campground is open but the trails at the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness boundary are closed.

OPEN: Highway 108 for through traffic only – please do not stop while we continue to work between Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and Sonora Pass. Kennedy Meadows Resort, Relief Reservoir, Baker Campground, and Deadman Campground are open. Bull Run Lake and the trails leading to it are open.

August 31, 2018 at 9:03 AM

Today, members of the Type 3 incident management organization from the Stanislaus NF (Incident Commander Shaun Craig) are shadowing their counterparts on the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 (SoCalTeam1). Each member of SoCalTeam1 will be sharing their personal knowledge and experience in managing the Donnell Fire with their counterparts on the Type 3 team. This process ensures that the Type 3 team is fully briefed to take over management of the Donnell Fire at 5:00 pm tomorrow evening (9/1/18). As SoCalTeam1 prepares to return home, we would like to thank the citizens, local agencies and businesses of this area for your overwhelming support during this incident.

The Donnell Fire, holding steady at 36,335 acres, exhibited moderate fire behavior yesterday similar to previous days. Crews will continue with direct, indirect and confine and contain tactics and strategies as appropriate with the priority remaining the northern most portion of the fire. Crews working on the southern portion of the fire will complete mopping up and continue with their efforts on suppression repair and mitigation of the remaining hazards. All Divisions of the fire will be performing extraction of crews, gear and backhaul of equipment and materials. Demobilization, or release, of resources will increase as the overall fire threat continues to diminish.

A Revised Forest Closure Order (STF-16-2018-12) was issued on August 30, 2018 to open up areas of the Stanislaus National Forest not directly affected by the Donnell Fire. This revised order supersedes the previous forest closure order (STF-16-2018-11). The revised order opens up Bull Run Lake on the Calaveras Ranger District. On the Summit Ranger District, it opens up the south side of Hwy 108 between Kennedy Meadow and Sonora Pass, the Sonora Pass Trailhead, and the trail from Kennedy Meadow to Relief Reservoir (Trail 20E11). Active fire, fire suppression actions, hazardous standing trees, and risk from rock fall provide clear indicators that the fire area is still dangerous and the public is restricted from entering the current closure area.

Forest Closure Area: The forest area impacted by the fire remains closed. This includes all residences and campgrounds along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01), the Highway 108 corridor, and the Clark Fork Road area. Property owners may obtain permits for access through the Summit Ranger District. Spicer Reservoir is closed but the campgrounds remain open. Highland Lakes Road (8N01) is open to Tryon Meadow only – Highland Lakes Campground and Trailhead are closed. Please check Fire Closure Order STF-16-2018-12 on the Stanislaus National Forest Webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alert/stanislaus/alerts-notices.

Trail Closures: The Pacific Crest Trail is closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4. Pacific Valley Campground is open but the trails at the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness boundary are closed.

OPEN: Highway 108 for through traffic only – please do not stop while we continue to work between Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and Sonora Pass. Kennedy Meadows Resort, Relief Reservoir, Baker Campground, and Deadman Campground are open. Bull Run Lake and the 19E02 trail leading to it are open.

August 29, 2018 at 10:28 AM

The Donnell Fire, currently at 36,288 acres, exhibited moderate fire behavior yesterday with flanking behavior, creeping along the forest floor and single tree torching. Steepness of terrain with rolling material along with hazardous trees remain primary safety concerns. Inaccessible locations by ground will require the continued support of crew shuttle and supply needs to be transported by helicopter. Mitigation of remaining fire spread will require the continued utilization of both ground crews and critical aerial support.

Today firefighters will implement a strategy of hold, validate and mitigate. They will work hard to hold the fire line that has been created; they will validate areas to work in and look for opportunities to build direct fire line while securing the fire perimeter and keeping the fire in the current footprint; and finally they will mitigate hazards by making tactical decisions with a high probability of success while prioritizing firefighter and public safety.

Given this strategy, the northern and eastern side of the fire remains the largest focus of activity as the potential exists for the fire to move to the north and east along the Highlands Creek, Arnot Creek, and Disaster Creek drainages. Crews are being reassigned to this area from other areas of the fire that already have good secure fireline. Crews will work to hold and improve the fire perimeter by going direct with handline construction where appropriate to do so. In areas on the east side of the fire with extreme terrain, natural barriers, and lack of accessibility, an indirect line and confine and contain strategy will be implemented.

Crews on the flanks of the fire will continue to secure and improve containment lines. The crews working on the southern portion of the fire will complete mopping up and continue with their efforts on fire suppression repair and mitigation of remaining hazards.

August 26, 2018 at 9:49 AM

The fire is currently estimated at 35, 864 acres with 62% containment. Ground and air resources continue to construct and improve lines around the fire perimeter to increase containment. An area of low pressure will move into the area over the weekend bringing southwest winds up to 15 mph and gusts up to 30 mph along the ridgelines and in drainages aligned with wind direction.

Suppression efforts are focused on limiting the spread north/ northeast towards Boulder Lake and the Pacific Crest Trail, assessing the Highland Lake area for building and improving containment lines to provide for structure defense and performing suppression repair and hazard tree mitigation in the Eagle Creek Drainage area on Eagle Meadow Road 5N01.

With the increase of traffic on the road we would like to emphasize safe driving. We want to remind everyone that highway 108 is open to through traffic ONLY, no stopping allowed between Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and Sonora Pass. The only exception is Kennedy Meadows including Baker Campground and Deadman Campground.

August 25, 2018 at 7:11 PM

Chris Fogle, Souther California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 commander, announced today that at approximately 3:45 p.m. Aug. 25, a medium helicopter on a water dropping mission crashed at a helispot on the southwest Donnell fire perimeter within the containment zone. The pilot walked away with minor injuries and was treated on-site by paramedics. The crash site has been secured and the pilot’s family has been notified.

August 21, 2018 at 9:26 AM

Transition briefing to local Type 3 is at 1600 today at Dodge Ridge and will assume command at 1800 on 08/22
Minimal fire behavior with creeping, and backing
Structures remain threatened
Hwy 108 will be opened to through traffic only
Mandatory evacuation orders still in effect
Closure for Carson Iceberg Wilderness and areas of the Pacific Coast Trail located between Hwy 108 and Hwy 4 still in effect
Fire is burning in a high tree mortality area

August 20, 2018 at 7:00 PM

An assessment team is assembling to evaluate safety hazards in and around the recreation cabin tracks and commercial property. When ALL safety inspections have been completed, permittees will be allowed back into the area. U.S. Forest Service personnel and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office are patrolling from Highway 108 through Highway 395. Vehicular traffic is prohibited from stopping from Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) to Sonora Pass.

CURRENT SITUATION: Crews are focusing their efforts on the northeast side of the fire near Spicer Reservoir. Another priority for hand crews is the northeast and northwest flanks as it heads towards Disaster and Boulder drainages. Air support will continue in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.

High pressure will weaken today as an area of low pressure moves into the Pacific Northwest. This will allow for gusty southwest winds to develop in the afternoon with gust between 25-30 mph. The strongest gusts will occur in the aligned southwest to northeast valleys along with the exposed ridges.

Current Closures:

August 19: The Sheriff’s Office and CHP opened Highway 108 at 4 pm yesterday and the mandatory evacuation area will be reduced to reflect this change.

August 6: U.S. Forest Service closed the Pacific Crest Trail between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

August 17 Fire Closure Order opens this road to Tryon Meadow.

August 9: U.S. Forest Service signed a Fire Closure Order restricting public access within and adjacent to the fire. Superseded by the August 17 Order.

August 17: U.S. Forest Service signed a Fire Closure Order increasing public access adjacent to the fire and opening Highland Lakes Road (Forest Service Road 8N01) to Tryon Meadow. This forest order is still in effect.

Mandatory Evacuations: Still in effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds, except Baker and Deadman) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation: Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8th.

August 18, 2018 at 10:56 AM

A smoke column is visible from Highway 4 north of Spicer Reservoir. Fire activity in this area increased due to steep, dense vegetation, dry fuels and gusty south and southwestern winds. Uncommon fire activity at night has been observed in the northwestern portion of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Expect increased aviation in the area as air tankers and helicopters make multiple drops to try to moderate fire activity. Hiram historic cabin has been wrapped with fire resistant material and vegetation cleared to protect the structure in the event fire continues to spread north. Additional containment line was completed on the northwest and southeast portions of the fire. With the current conditions including warming temperatures, lower humidity, increased winds up to 25 mph and low fuel moistures, vegetation is incredibly receptive to long distance spotting. Moderate fire activity remains on the northeastern and eastern edges of the fire. Hazard tree mitigation continues along Highway 108.

We will be heading into a drier and warmer period through the weekend along with gusty afternoon west to southwest winds. This may make for more active fire conditions in the coming days.

Fire personnel are maintaining an excellent accident and injury record. Support from the local community continues to bolster firefighter morale.

Current Closures:

August 4: California Highway Patrol closed Highway 108 at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side.

August 6: U.S. Forest Service closed the Pacific Crest Trail between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

August 9: Alpine County Sheriff’s Office closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highland Lakes Road (Forest Service Road 8N01).

August 9: U.S. Forest Service signed the Fire Closure Order restricting public access within and adjacent to the fire.

Mandatory Evacuations: Still in effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation: Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8th.

August 17, 2018 at 9:14 AM 

It was a relatively quiet night on the fire. The western edge showed little spread. Yesterday crews were able to get a good line in and made significant progress with containment in this area. Today, additional crews and aircraft are working to complete the line near Spicer Reservoir.

A small portion of the fire remains active north of Highway 108 and Kennedy Meadows due to steep rugged terrain and patchy vegetation. Crews are working to complete the last short segment of containment line south of Highway 108 between Douglas Picnic Area and the Bennett Juniper. Portable pumps and hose were brought in to support hand crews.

Mop up and suppression repair continues along the southern fire boundary.

Drier weather, lower humidity and increased west to southwesterly winds may intensify fire activity this afternoon. With very low fuel moisture and limited recovery overnight, vegetation continues to burn for extended periods.

Today is the fifth anniversary of the Rim Fire, the largest wildfire to occur in the Sierra Nevada. Half a decade later, local staff continues to work on restoration efforts.

Current Closures:

August 4: California Highway Patrol closed Highway 108 at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side.

August 6: U.S. Forest Service closed the Pacific Crest Trail between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

August 9: Alpine County Sheriff’s Office closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highland Lakes Road (Forest Service Road 8N01).

August 9: U.S. Forest Service signed the Fire Closure Order restricting public access within and adjacent to the fire.

Mandatory Evacuations: Still in effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation: Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8th.

August 14, 2018 at 8:20 PM

Wildland Fire Modules made significant progress on the west side of the fire in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Helicopters were able to support the modules by dropping water on the fire throughout the day. In addition, Helirappellers were inserted to construct a helicopter landing area (helispot) west of the fire boundary. On the southern and eastern flanks of the fire, crews continued to mop up and enhance containment lines. Afternoon thunderstorms on the eastern third of the fire forced firefighters to suspend operations early in the day. Night crews will focus on structure protection and mop up on the south eastern side of the fire. Crews in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness will continue operations tomorrow morning when they can safely navigate the terrain reducing the likelihood of accidents or injuries.

August 14, 2018 at 10:27 AM

Fire spread was minimal overnight, primarily along the northwest fire edge in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness where Wildland Fire Modules are spiked out and will be working today. Overnight, crews continued to enhance containment lines along the southern and eastern flanks of the fire and to do structure protection including within the Haypress area. Today, thunderstorms are forecast for the early afternoon. These could bring gusty and erratic winds up to 35 mph to the east side of the fire, resulting in the loss of some air support. High winds also increase the potential for spot fires, embers blowing up to 1,000 feet from the fire’s edge. Structure protection and hazard tree abatement remain the priority. Green pockets within the fire perimeter still exist and continue to be treated in several locations. Direct line from the Bennett Juniper to the Douglas Day Use Area on Highway108 will continue to be constructed today, with crews working from both the north and south directions.

RECREATION RESIDENCE AND FACILITY UPDATE: Initial fire assessments have been completed for all recreation residence tracts along the108 corridor. All permittees have been contacted regarding the condition of their cabin/resort. The main store and lodge of the Dardanelle Resort, 14 of 16 cabins in the Wagner Tract, 36 of 57 cabins in the Brightman Tract, 2 of 2 cabins in the Buena Vista Tract, and 1 of 10 cabins in the Bone Springs Tract were destroyed by the fire. No structures have been reported lost at Baker Station or within Riverside, Cedar Grove, Deadman, Baker, East Douglas, West Douglas, and Twin Buttes Tracts. Firefighters continue to patrol and protect structures within the fire perimeter. Active fire and hazard trees are still present and a potential threat.

August 13, 2018 at 8:56 AM

Fire remained active into the early evening in Eagle Creek drainage and near the confluence of Middle Fork Stanislaus and Deadman drainages, again last night we saw a slowing down of fire activity under the influence of a moderate humidity recovery across the entire area.

Along the Northern Flank of the fire the Wildland Fire Modules are working to secure the eastern Flank from the origin/anchor point towards Spicer Reservoir and from Spicer Reservoir into the McCormick fire scar. On the northeastern flank of the fire north off Highway 108 crews will scout for opportunities to construct line from the highway up to the rock bluffs on the north to stop the fire spread along the road and push it out towards the wilderness. Along the southeastern flank of the fire dozers and crews will work to create a piece of indirect line from Haypress to Kennedy Meadow that would be utilized for a planed firing operation to halt the spread towards several structures and a resort.

Crews working the southern flank of the fire will continue to tie in several pieces of dozer line together and burnout as necessary to create and reinforce the fire line.

Resources working on the southwestern flank of the fire will continue to improve and establish direct line extending hose lays east towards Bennett Juniper to increase containment and reduce threat to structures along 5N01.

The Highway 108 structure group will continue preparation and protection of the structures and resort located along the highway. Resources within the Highway 108 corridor and will continue to patrol in order to locate and extinguish any hot spots in the area already impacted by fire to reduce the threat of further damage.

The Long Valley Structure group will continue preparation and protection of structures and road systems from Highway 108 along 5N01 to Sardine Meadow.

The Hazard tree group will be working along Highway 108 to remove any trees that may pose a threat to firefighters, public or infrastructure.

Fire activity will moderate slightly under the increased relative humidity values and lighter westerly afternoon winds. Concern areas continue to include Eagle Creek drainage, Long Valley and Haypress, Sardine, and Red Rock meadows.

Fire may also travel in a SE direction towards Kennedy Meadows within the Middle Fork Stanislaus River corridor at the confluence of Deadman Creek. Monsoon influence may bring the possibility of thunderstorm activity, and at this time the concern is outflow winds that may contribute to increase in fire activity and spread. This may cause challenging conditions for several portions of the fire, potentially impacting infrastructure and recreational improvements in the Middle Fork Stanislaus River, Clarks Fork, Bennet Juniper/Sardine, and Haypress Meadow and surrounding wilderness areas to north and south of the fire.

August 12, 2018 at 9:04 AM

The fire laid down slightly through the night. As temperatures drop and humidity rises the fire is expected to be fuels driven less than wind driven so low fuel moistures and spotting will remain a concern. Structure protection continued ahead of the fire as it progressed slowly in an easterly direction at Kennedy Meadows and northeasterly out of Disaster Creek. Firefighters are making headway in an effort to protect Bennett Juniper by cutting hand and dozer line across Eagle Drainage. Mop up and hazard tree removal will continue in green pockets between structures along Hwy 108. Wildland use modules will continue working on the south-side of Spicer Reservoir in Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.

RECREATION RESIDENCE AND FACILITY UPDATE: Initial fire assessments have been completed for all recreation residence tracts along the108 corridor. All permittees have been contacted regarding the condition of their cabin/resort. The main store and lodge of the Dardanelle Resort, 14 of 16 cabins in the Wagner Tract, 36 of 57 cabins in the Brightman Tract, 2 of 2 cabins in the Buena Vista Tract, and 1 of 10 cabins in the Bone Springs Tract have been destroyed by the fire. No structures have been reported lost at Baker Station, Brightman Ranger Station, and cabins in Riverside, Cedar Grove, Deadman, Baker, East and West Douglas, and Twin Buttes Tracts. Firefighters continue to patrol and protect structures within the fire perimeter, and risk is still present from both fire and hazardous trees. Forest Service is contacting permittees as soon as more information becomes available.

Mandatory Evacuations: Still in effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation: Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8th.

Public Meeting: There will be a community meeting to provide update on the fire. It will be held on August 13, 2018 from 5pm to 6:30pm in the Fellowship Hall at the Word of Life Church located at 24630 Mi Mi-Wuk, CA 95346.

August 11, 2018 at 8:36 AM

Structural protection remains a priority for fire fighters along the Highway 108 corridor and 5N01 (Eagle Meadow Road). Newly arrived crews are focusing on suppression along the northeast and northwest sides of the fire in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Lifting of the inversion layer will allow air support to fly throughout the day supporting engines and hand crews on the ground. A red flag warning remains in effect. Higher winds and lower relative humidity could increase fire activity today which may lead to additional smoke impacting surrounding communities.

RECREATION RESIDENCE AND FACILITY UPDATE: Mi-Wok/Summit District Ranger Sarah LaPlante has contacted all permittees affected by the fire to date.

The Forest Closure Order for the fire area includes the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness on the Summit and Calaveras Ranger Districts as well as Spicer Reservoir. Campgrounds are open, but the lake is closed to visitor use. Highway 108 is still closed at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side. The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office has closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highlands Lake Road (Forest Service Road 8N01). The Pacific Crest Trail has also been closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

Mandatory Evacuations: Still in effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation: Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8th.

Safety Note: With the increase in fire equipment and traffic around the Pinecrest area, the public is reminded to drive extra cautiously at this time.

August 10, 2018 at 9:56 PM

Structure protection continues along Highway 108, east of Douglas tract and around Baker Station. Today, the fire moved farther to the east less than 2 miles from Kennedy Meadows. In addition, structure protection was conducted along Eagle Meadow road. Air support dropped retardant on active areas of the fire throughout the day. Dry conditions and increased winds contributed to two half acre spot fires on the south side of the fire. Both fires were quickly suppressed by crews in the area. A red flag warning continues through tomorrow evening increasing the potential for greater fire activity.

RECREATION RESIDENCE AND FACILITY UPDATE: Mi-Wok/Summit District Ranger Sarah LaPlante has contacted all permittees affected by the fire to date.

The Forest Closure Order for the fire area includes the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness on the Summit and Calaveras Ranger Districts as well as Spicer Reservoir. Campgrounds are open, but the lake is closed to visitor use. Highway 108 is still closed at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side. The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office has closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highlands Lake Road (Forest Service Road 8N01). The Pacific Crest Trail has also been closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

Mandatory Evacuations: Still in effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation: Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8th.

Safety Note: With the increase in fire equipment and traffic around the Pinecrest area, the public is reminded to drive extra cautiously at this time.

August 10, 2018 at 8:11 AM

The fire remained active into the early evening across the entire fire but diminished as the humidity increased, however at higher elevation along the ridge top the fire remained more active because of dyer conditions.

Overnight shallow valley inversions once again developed over the fire with light east drainage winds from 3 to 5 mph. Southwest winds remained over the ridgetops overnight keeping the temperatures warmer than normal and effecting the overnight humidity recoveries. Inversions will likely remain in place through late morning before breaking and allowing for better mixing and warming temperatures.

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Tactical patrol continues around the structures already impacted by the fire to extinguish any hot spot that may pose a continued threat. Resources will continue structure preparation and protection along road 5N01 in front of the advancing fire. Dozers will continue constructing indirect line between Eagle creek and Double Dome to create indirect a line along the southern flank. Crews will reinforce and extend hand lines created from the 6N33Y road east towards Double Dome. Additional scouting for opportunities to create a direct line along the eastern and southern edges of the fire will continue. Retardant which was used around historic Baker Cabin and other structures in the Douglas area of Highway 108 will continue.

A Forest Order Closure has been issued for the closure of Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and Spicer Lake.

August 9, 2018 at 10:34 PM

The fire continues to grow in the northeast direction pushing further up the Arnot, Disaster and Douglas Creek drainages. Crews continued to make progress constructing dozer and hand lines off the Eagle Meadow (5N01) Road. Tankers dropped retardant on the east side of the fire near the Bennett Juniper to slow the fire spread in that area. Structure protection continues to be the priority along Highway 108 and the Eagle Meadow Road, including protecting the Bennett Juniper. A Red Flag warning for gusty north winds up to 25 mph have been issued for Friday and Saturday which could cause the fire to become more active.

RECREATION RESIDENCE AND FACILITY UPDATE: As of August 8, at 8:45 PM the Wagner and Riverside recreation tracts and Dardanelle Resort assessments have been completed and all permittees contacted regarding the condition of their cabin/resort. Fourteen of 16 cabins in the Wagner Tract as well as the Dardanelle Store were destroyed in the fire. None of the cabins within the Riverside Tract were destroyed. The assessment team has complete the evaluation of structure conditions along Highway 108.

A Forest Closure Order for the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness on the Summit and Calaveras Ranger Districts is going into effect this evening. Spicer Reservoir is also within the closure area. Highway 108 is still closed at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side. The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office has closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highlands Lake Road (Forest Service Road 8N01). The Pacific Crest Trail has also been closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

The incident is in Unified Command with Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office and Tuolumne County Fire Department.

For reducing the impacts of smoke, face masks with filters of 95 or more can be used to minimize smoke inhalation.

Mandatory Evacuations: In effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation for Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8.

August 9, 2018 at 8:50 AM

The fire pushed further up the Arnot and Disaster Creek drainages to the northeast. The fire crossed Douglas Creek on the north side of Highway 108. Overnight crews continued to make progress constructing dozer and hand lines off the Eagle Meadow (5N01) Road. Increased fire activity is expected today due to the lifting of the inversion layer and stronger southwest winds. Structure protection continues to be the priority along Highway 108 and the Eagle Meadow Road, including protecting the Bennett Juniper.

RECREATION RESIDENCE AND FACILITY UPDATE: As of August 8, at 8:45 PM the Wagner and Riverside recreation tracts and Dardanelle Resort reviews have been completed and all permittees contacted regarding the condition of their cabin/resort. Fourteen of 16 cabins in the Wagner Tract as well as the Dardanelle Store were destroyed in the fire. None of the cabins within the Riverside Tract were destroyed. The assessment team continues to evaluate structure conditions along Highway 108, and the Forest Service is contacting permittees as soon as information is available.

Highway 108 is still closed at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side. The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office has closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highlands Lake Road (Forest Service Road 8N01). The Pacific Crest Trail has also been closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

The incident is in Unified Command with Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office and Tuolumne County Fire Department.

The fire started at the inlet of Donnell Reservoir and continues to burn along the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River in steep and inaccessible terrain. It has spread to both sides of Highway 108 near Brightman. The fire is burning north into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness between the Arnot Creek and Disaster Creek drainages and east to Eureka Valley along Highway 108.

Mandatory Evacuations: In effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation for Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8.

August 9, 2018 at 8:18 AM

Overnight inversions once again developed over the fire with light east drainage winds 3 to 5 mph. Temperatures under the inversion ranged from the lower 50s to lower 60s with some of the higher ridges only dropping into the low to mid 60s. Humidity recoveries were moderate especially under the inversion where readings were generally in the 50 percent range. Poor recoveries were noted at some of the ridges where humidity readings only recovered into the 30-40 percent range.

Thursday has potential for active fire within Eagle Creek, Middle Fork, Disaster Creek drainages as the inversion lifts and the area is influenced by dry afternoon SW winds. Movement is anticipated east along the 108 corridor and ENE across Bennett Juniper/Sardine Meadow areas. Although NWS Sacramento has downgraded the Red Flag Warning Friday, the area still may experience increased southwesterly winds and low relative humidity values. This may cause challenging conditions for several portions of the fire, potentially impacting infrastructure and recreational improvements in the Middle Fork Stanislaus River, Clarks Fork, Bennett Juniper/Sardine Meadow and surrounding wilderness to the north and south. If the fire is able to move across Disaster Creek there is a high chance it may reach the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest.

Planned Actions

Utilize personnel for structure preparation and protection along road 5N01 in front of the advancing fire. Dozers will continue to open the road systems between 5N01 and Double Dome to create indirect line along the southwestern flank in Division Z.Crews will reinforce and extend hand line created from Highway 108 east toward Double Dome.Additional scouting for opportunities to create direct and indirect line along the eastern and southern edges of the fire will continue. Tactical patrol continues around the structures already impacted by the fire to extinguish any hot spot that may pose a threat.Arriving resources will be assigned as needed to continue progress towards a perimeter control strategy and less of a structure defense one.

August 8, 2018 at 10:36 PM

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office has announced an Advisory Evacuation for the Mill Creek Campground, Recreation Residence Tract and Forest Service Road 5N21 (Mill Creek)  south of the Donnell Fire. This is NOT an Evacuation Order.  This is an advisement only of a potential evacuation order should fire conditions change. This advisory is being put in place as a precaution. The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office has closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highlands Lake Road (Forest Service Road 8N01).

The inversion layer lifted today causing increased fire activity in the northeast and southeast sections of the fire. The primary acreage increase included the Disaster Creek drainage, and south of Highway 108 towards the Bennett Juniper Tree. Structure protection continues to be the priority along Highway 108 and the Eagle Meadow Road (5N01), including the Bennett Juniper. Crews continue to make dozer and hand line progress along the fire’s southern boundary.

Highway 108 is still closed at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side. The Pacific Crest Trail has also been closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

The incident is in Unified Command with Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office and Tuolumne County Fire Department.

The fire started at the inlet of Donnell Reservoir and continues to burn along the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River in steep and inaccessible terrain. It has spread to both sides of Highway 108 near Brightman. The fire is burning north into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness between the Arnot Creek and Disaster Creek drainages and east to Eureka Valley along Highway 108.

Mandatory Evacuations: In effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area.  No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation for Mill Creek area was put into effect today.

August 7, 2018 at 9:05 AM

Planned Actions: Utilize the limited personnel for structure preparation and protection in front of the advancing fire front. Once the fire has moved through the areas of the structures resources will be utilized for fir front following to extinguish hot spots that continue to threaten the structures. Arriving resources will be assigned to the Structure Group.

An Air Resource Advisor will be accessing the condition in the surrounding area and reporting accordingly. A key factor is if the inversion lifts over the fire this afternoon.

Burning conditions were largely moderated yesterday, potential for another moderate fire activity day without adequate clearing.

August 6, 2018 at 9:23 PM

The Pacific Crest Trail has been closed from Highway 108 to Highway 4 as of August 6th due to the proximity of the Donnell Fire.

Today, the fire spread minimally with no substantial acreage growth due to the inversion layer which kept the winds much lower than previous days. However, air resources were unable to assist firefighters with water drops.

A community meeting was held this evening at the Pinecrest Amphitheater and was well attended with an estimated 500 people in the audience. The Incident Management Team talked about the current fire conditions and answered questions from the public.

The Highway 108 closure has been extended from Kennedy Meadows to Sonora Pass. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4 until further notice.

There is a Temporary Fire Restriction (TFR) has been issued for a ten mile radius from the center of the fire in the Brightman area up to 11,000 feet Above Ground Level.

Mandatory Evacuations: Highway 108 at Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds), Eagle Meadow Road (5NO1).

August 6, 2018 at 8:24 AM

Continued active fire spread to the east within the Middle Fork Stanislaus River, NE in the Clarks Fork drainage and North on the western flank of the 2017 McCormick Fire.

Planned Actions
Utilize the limited personnel for structure prep and structure protection in front of the advancing fire front. Priority will be given to protect life, property, and infrastructure in the area.

Projected Incident Activity
Evening winds have been turning easterly by 2100 and the fire area is only experiencing moderate recovery at night. Potential for active burning within the Middle Fork Stanislaus River drainage if a thermal belt develops through the night.

Continued hot and dry conditions lined up for the week as a ridge of high pressure builds over the Sierra, with westerly winds each afternoon and evening. Relative humidity will hover around 10 each afternoon with poor to moderate recovery each night. Winds will have a north/east component overnight. Slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms by the weekend.

August 5, 2018 at 8:06 PM

There will be a community meeting Monday August 6th at the Pinecrest Ampitheatre at 5 pm. Fire managers will be present to talk about the current fire conditions and answer questions from the public.

Today, crews provided structure protection along Highway 108. Aircraft dropped retardant around the repeater site near Double Dome. The fire spread to the south and crossed Highway 108 near the Brightman Tract. It expanded on the north side into the Arnot Creek and Disaster Creek. The fire had minimal growth on the west side near Donnell Lake. A mandatory evacuation was issued on Eagle Meadow Road (5NO1) due to the fire spotting and threatening structures.

The fire is burning in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and across the Clark Fork Road towards Bald Peak. Firefighters are using MIST (Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics) where appropriate. The fire continues to burn into the 2017 McCormick Fire, slowing its growth on the northeast flank.

A mandatory evacuation continues between Eagle Meadow Road and Kennedy Meadows, including all campgrounds and residences.

As of 6 am today, the Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team (Lee Rickard, IC) assumed management of the fire.

Visitors and residents are advised that smoke to the west of Pinecrest is likely coming from the Ferguson Fire.

Currently, the Pacific Crest Trail at Sonora Pass is open, but hikers are advised that a closure is likely due to public safety as the fire spreads toward Sonora Summit.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Mandatory evacuation from Highway 108 at Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows was implemented at 9 am today. Eagle Meadow Road (5NO1) was closed and evacuated today.

 August 5, 2018 at 1:18 PM 

The Donnell Fire started on August 1near the east side of Donnell Lake. The fire is burning primarily along the north bank of the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River in steep and rough terrain with heavy standing dead and down timber. The fire is being managed as full suppression incident from the start. Due to the other large fires in the region and state, resources are being ordered and filled as they are available. Other local incident management teams are sharing aircraft and personnel as needed.

As of 9 am today the Tuolumne County Sheriff announced a mandatory evacuation from Dardanelle Resort to Kennedy Meadows.

Yesterday afternoon, strong winds pushed the fire northeast into the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and across the Clark Fork Road towards Bald Peak. The fire grew by about 5,000 acres and is now 5,814 acres. The Red Flag Warning expired last night, however, weather patterns are expected to be similar today with slightly lower winds than as yesterday. Aircraft are assisting firefighters within the river canyon. The fire burned into the 2017 McCormick Fire, slowing its growth on the northeast flank.

Today, crews will monitor and prep for structure protection along Highway 108. Crews cleared vegetation around the Double Dome repeater last night and will continue to monitor the site today.

Yesterday, California Highway Patrol closed Highway 108 eastbound at the Eagle Meadow Rd. and westbound at Dardanelle Resort. A mandatory evacuation was implemented in the area, including all campgrounds and residences. Today, the evacuation will be extended to Kennedy Meadows.

As of 6 am today, the Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team (Lee Rickard, IC) assumed management of the fire.

Visitors and residents are advised that smoke to the west of Pinecrest is likely coming from the Ferguson Fire.

Currently, the Pacific Crest Trail at Sonora Pass is open, but hikers are advised there may be smoke impacts on the trail.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Mandatory evacuation from Highway 108 at Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows was implemented at 9 am today.